10 Hits and a Few Misses from My Cruise



After simply getting off a cruise on Carnival Celebration a number of weeks in the past I wished to put in writing a number of of my favourite issues concerning the ship, together with a number of issues that perhaps might use some enchancment.

Carnival Celebration cruise ship in port
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

This was my first time on an Excel-class ship with Carnival Cruise Line, and I need to say that I liked the general really feel and design of this class.  It’s already my favourite class of ship inside the fleet, and I can’t wait to see how individuals like Jubilee when it debuts on the finish of the 12 months.


10 Hits: Some issues I liked about Carnival Celebration

My cruise on Carnival Celebration was a 6-night cruise out of Miami that sailed to Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Mahogany Bay (Roatan Honduras).  I booked a assured balcony stateroom – letting the cruise line choose the precise location– to save lots of a couple of dollars and ended up with a deck 9 balcony that neglected the Havana pool – straight over the Havana pool which is on deck 8.  Extra on this awkward location later.

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1. Free meals choices on board

Free dining options on Carnival Celebration
Free eating choices on Carnival Celebration. Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

The quantity of complimentary food options on Carnival Celebration was actually spectacular.  I made it my aim to eat at each single certainly one of these included eating places on this 6-night cruise.

There have been so many locations to eat that it was unimaginable to eat in any respect of my favourite locations greater than as soon as, particularly since I wished to strive all the things out.  However now that I’ve picked a number of favorites (Chibang, Man’s Pig & Anchor, and Large Hen) my subsequent go to to the ship might be extra targeted.

You may see the complete checklist of free meals choices on Carnival Celebration here, as I’m going into extra element with every restaurant.

I preferred that the favored Man’s Burger Joint was one deck up from the lido deck.  This made the road move loads simpler than on different Carnival ships and allowed for extra seating as nicely.

Good sit-down eating places like Cucina Del Capitano and Chibang had been complimentary, and this helped relieve congestion from the primary eating room and different eating places at supper time.  This can be the explanation the cruise line has determined to maintain these eateries free, however I liked having a number of dinner choices that didn’t simply include the buffet.

Utilizing the Carnival Hub app to get a reservation time was a breeze, and the wait was by no means greater than 10-Quarter-hour.

I liked all of the breakfast choices as nicely, and having Large Hen open for breakfast with a breakfast menu that lasted nicely into lunch was a bonus.

My favourite place to eat breakfast was not free, however at solely $5-$6 per merchandise, consuming at Emeril’s Bistro was an ideal quiet place to begin the day.  And now I need to transfer on earlier than I begin daydreaming about these candy potato waffles.


2. Structure of the ship

Layout and design of Carnival Celebration
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

I’ll contact on this all through the article, as a result of the format of the ship actually does affect the expertise in different areas, together with eating, use of the swimming pools, leisure, and many others.

Even with virtually 6,000 passengers on board, the ship felt surprisingly spacious.  After all, you’ll anticipate a 183,00 gross ton vessel to be spacious, however with an area to passenger ratio of 34, I anticipated a extra cramped feeling.  And this all comes right down to the nice design and format of the vessel.

By the way in which, that 34:1 passenger space ratio is from Carnival’s personal fact sheet on the ship.  You may see our full checklist of house ratios on cruise ships throughout a number of cruise strains here.

Ensuring each eating venues had been unfold out and leisure choices might be held in varied locations on the ship meant that passengers weren’t too bottlenecked at anybody time limit.  There’s an exception right here relating to Heart Stage, which I’ll tackle within the “misses” portion of this text.

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I spent a number of time on decks 6-8 and liked each the openness and number of venues on these decks.  There was loads to eat, see, and do with out having to hop within the elevator each couple of minutes.


3. Summer season Touchdown and Patio

Summer Landing on Carnival Celebration
Summer season Touchdown on Carnival Celebration (Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever)

This was my favourite a part of the ship.  The again yard deck vibe with picnic tables, foosball, ice cream, and sports activities being performed on the enormous TV’s added to this informal and welcoming house behind the ship on deck 8.

After consuming dinner at Man’s Pig & Anchor on the Summer season Touchdown you possibly can head over to the ice cream station that’s a part of Heroes Tribute Lounge.  This lounge is a relaxed, couch-filled space with U.S. navy uniforms, medals, and tales of the troops on the partitions.  I actually love how Carnival pays tribute to members of the navy on this house.  Soccer video games had been being performed on this sports activities lounge as nicely, and it was packed for a few of the massive school soccer video games.

On this identical space is an area for foosball and desk shuffleboard, and when you maintain strolling aft on the ship you can see the patio, full with an aft pool, day beds, and loads of padded loungers.  This pool was one of many least crowded on the ship however was additionally the coldest on the ship.  However two scorching tubs simply across the nook on the starboard facet might simply heat you up.  These scorching tubs weren’t often that crowded both, making this whole house an excellent retreat from a few of the busier areas (except a giant recreation was on in fact).


4. Separate pool areas

Talking of swimming pools, discovering significant room to swim and funky off on a sea day generally is a battle on a mainstream cruise line.  And whereas the primary pool on the lido deck of Carnival Celebration was fairly full on sea days, the actual fact that there have been different swimming pools unfold out by the ship helped an excellent deal.

There are 5 swimming pools on Celebration — 6 when you embody the Loft space pool.  I already talked about the patio pool on deck 8 aft, however there’s one other aft pool on board.  Deck 16 aft is the situation of Tides pool which has a scorching tub on both facet of it.    That is additionally the realm of Large Hen and an ice cream station, so there’s actually no purpose to ever go away.   Tides pool was often hotter than the Patio pool, largely as a result of it will get a little bit extra solar all through the day.  Throughout lunch hours it was busy, however by no means as busy as the primary pool.

Pools on Carnival Celebration
The 2 aft swimming pools and foremost lido deck seashore pool on Celebration. It’s also possible to see the Havana pool taken from my stateroom balcony on the underside left. (Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever)

For Havana Cabana friends there’s a pool on deck 8 as nicely.   This small pool was the one which was straight beneath my balcony cabin, in truth.  This made issues a bit awkward when making an attempt to take pleasure in a peaceable sundown because it was actually ft away from friends having fun with the pool –awkward on either side of the railing.  A number of occasions I even heard some individuals within the pool saying how bizarre it was that we had been proper above them from our “personal” balcony.  However that’s a part of the gamble of reserving a assured stateroom the place the cruise line picks the cabin.

For some peace and quiet there’s additionally a pool within the adult-only Serenity Retreat.  Besides, on sea days it might not be so peaceable or quiet because it did get quite full throughout these peek pool hours.  However nonetheless, having no less than 5 swimming pools unfold out on the ship helped make each rather less crowded, one thing I at all times admire on a cruise ship.

The Loft space on Deck 19 additionally has a heated pool for Loft friends who wish to hire a spacious cabana and have much more seclusion and privateness.

And for these wanting to chill off via waterslides Carnival Waterworks had some fairly fast-moving waterslides on deck 18.  There have been three massive water slides with one which drops you proper out of the ground to begin off with a rush, but it surely was damaged throughout my go to, so I didn’t get to strive it.  The opposite two had been a number of enjoyable although, with one requiring a mat and the opposite twisting and turning like loopy.

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5. Bolt

Bolt on Carnival Celebration
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

Having a curler coaster on a cruise ship generally is a little polarizing.  Some will hate it whereas others like it.  I used to be on the fence till I attempted it.  The primary time I signed up on the app and paid the $15 to trip on Bolt I had the cash refunded due to some mechanical points.  On one other day, whereas taking part in a number of rounds of mini golf, I observed Bolt was up and working.  I reserved a spot on the app straight away and inside 10 minutes I used to be sitting on my first curler coaster at sea.  The app course of for decreasing ready strains and ready occasions was actually clean, by the way in which.

With a burst of velocity, I used to be off, pulling again on the throttle enhance the whole time to get the complete impact of the trip.  They are saying it travels as much as 40 mph, however that’s primarily from that launch at first of the trip.  Whereas the two journeys across the ship glided by rapidly, it was a blast of a trip and pretty priced I felt.  These rides are two-seaters, and I do want the twond individual acquired some type of low cost, because it’s simply not the identical expertise driving within the again.  But it surely’s positively a enjoyable expertise it is best to strive no less than as soon as, and it gives one more thrilling factor to do on a sea day.

Bolt is simply a part of what makes up the Final Playground with mini golf, a sports activities courtroom, ping pong and foosball tables, and a really enjoyable ropes course in the midst of all of it.

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6. Reveals at Heart Stage

Center Stage on Carnival Celebration
Heart Stage on Carnival Celebration (Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever)

The idea of Heart Stage on Excel-class ships like Celebration is implausible.  This 3-deck stage and leisure space is completely positioned in a central a part of the ship.  At any time, as you go by this space you might discover some type of enjoyable exercise or present occurring, whether or not it’s a Construct-a Bear workshop for the youngsters or a circus-like efficiency with acrobatics and music.

Throughout my cruise I noticed a number of exhibits and occasions happen right here.  The lighting and sound capabilities are wonderful, and I liked how the 3-deck tall home windows might be utterly remodeled into a large display at night time.

Throughout the day, the lounge round Heart Stage was an excellent place to calm down.   With JavaBlue Café proper throughout the ship on deck 6, you possibly can seize a tasty pastry or specialty espresso and luxuriate in ocean views from the large starboard facet home windows.


7. Tons of Trivia video games

Each cruise ship has some type of trivia recreation.  It’s the long-lasting battle of ineffective data we simply love to participate in once we’re out at sea.  Not solely did Celebration have trivia.  There have been no less than 20 totally different subjects and sorts of trivia video games to take pleasure in all through the cruise.  Matters included all the things from sci-fi and fairy tales to slogans and geography.  Virtually daily there have been 3 or 4 trivia video games occurring all through the ship and participating in a number of of them was at all times a enjoyable factor to do.  And it appeared like different cruisers felt the identical manner, as most of the lounges used for trivia had been at all times buzzing with pencil-ready contestants.


8. Some very clean crusing

Smooth seas at night on Carnival Celebration
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

I’m not one to get movement illness, however there’s at all times a little bit motion you’re feeling when at sea, even within the largest of cruise ships.  I will need to have commented a number of occasions on how clean Carnival Celebration felt.  Even at 16-18 knots I used to be amazed on the ship’s stability.   Normally after a cruise is over there’s a time frame once I really feel a little bit wobbly as these sea legs get used to land once more.  However this cruise was so calm and clean I by no means felt that in any respect.  Now, we did have some glorious climate, though it rained a number of occasions, and the 183,000 gross ton ship didn’t should journey at full velocity to get to our locations, however I nonetheless wished to say that this was one of many smoothest cruises I’ve ever been on in regard to movement at sea.


9.  Thermal suite within the spa

Thermal suite on Carnival Celebration
Thermal suite on Carnival Celebration (Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever)

My spouse was hesitant to enroll in the thermal suite as a result of we felt it may be too overcrowded.  That’s what I had learn concerning the ship earlier than the cruise, anyway.  However after getting that tour of the spa she determined to go for it, because it was solely $129 for the week (Usually $179 for this cruise).   She ended up loving it and located if she went throughout non-peak occasions like late at night time or proper earlier than supper time it wasn’t crowded in any respect.  There have been three totally different steam rooms and saunas and an honest measurement remedy pool within the center, surrounded by heated tile loungers.  It was the right stress-free house, even when only for half-hour to an hour every day.


10.  A wide range of issues to do

Not everybody likes to maintain busy on a cruise, but it surely’s good realizing there’s at all times one thing to do when you do get struck with a second of “Let’s go do one thing!”.  Carnival Celebration had a lot occurring at virtually each hour that it was arduous to determine generally.  I actually loved the gifted string trio that performed every night time in varied components of the ship, and Carnival’s notorious Punchliner Comedy Membership was at all times successful.   Different varieties of actions included scavenger hunts, Household Feud, BINGO, Deal or No Deal, and even a pickleball competitors.  The pickleball match occurred at round 9pm although, and with just one courtroom and 20 gamers, who is aware of how lengthy that went into the night time.  I saved everybody the embarrassment by not taking part this time.


11.  Mahogany Bay

mahogany bay beach in Roatan
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

I needed to put one additional level in right here, as a result of Mahogany Bay was simply the right place for a seashore day when crusing on Carnival Celebration.  This Carnival Corp. unique cruise port in Roatan, Honduras is so nicely laid out and has all the things you’ll need at a personal island/vacation spot.

You may hire a clamshell for some shade at your lounger, however there are many timber providing pure shade when you get off the ship early sufficient.  Beside every kind of water sport leases, there’s a pier on the finish of the seashore that enables for some nice snorkeling spots as nicely if you wish to be extra energetic.


A couple of misses

Earlier than I delve into the issues that weren’t my favourite features of the cruise, I ought to word that that is all very subjective.  What I feel is a “miss” you may not thoughts in any respect and even assume is a plus.  Be at liberty to let me know the place you would possibly disagree in a remark under as I’d love for our readers to get totally different views.


1. Seating at Heart Stage

I do know, I simply raved concerning the nice idea of Heart Stage on Carnival Celebration.  However the seating round this 3-deck space is one other story.  The primary night time I wished to take a look at a present and acquired there about half-hour earlier than the beginning, considering I’d be early sufficient to get a superb seat.

That’s once I found that there are actually just a few good seats at Heart Stage, and they’re taken very early prematurely.   I walked up and down the steps and backward and forward to search out the very best angles for the following night time, however you couldn’t actually see the whole stage except you had been in a handful of seats.

Seating at Center Stage on Carnival Excel Class
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

So in fact, this led to passengers making an attempt to get there an hour earlier than the present and utilizing articles of clothes to save lots of seats for different members of their occasion.  Many soiled seems to be had been exchanged after individuals tried to take a seat down in these “saved” areas, considering they simply scored an excellent view of the present, solely to be shooed away like a fly on a slice of pizza.  Squatters at all times had the very best seats in the home, and I even walked by virtually 90 minutes earlier than one present and noticed them already parked and locked into place.

I’m undecided how this might be fastened with the present format, but it surely positively led to a number of frustration on the a part of passengers simply desirous to take pleasure in a pleasant present after dinner.


2. Cramped elevators

With three foremost elevator areas and eight elevators to an space you’ll assume this may not be a lot of an issue.  However these elevators appeared loads smaller than I had anticipated.  Some passengers on motorized scooters might barely slot in, and I used to be very near having a throbbing massive toe after a number of incidents.

Different passengers additionally commented again and again at how small these elevators had been, which led to many awkwardly intimate moments that ended with a swift exit as soon as the doorways opened.  I do know most cruise ships don’t have tons of sq. footage within the elevator areas, however one thing a bit larger would have been appreciated.

Then once more, it did make me take the steps extra usually which in flip helped me burn off that calorie-laden Man’s burger.


3. Small stateroom lavatory

On the subject of small areas, I felt the stateroom lavatory was additionally fairly cramped.  Once more, these are areas on cruise ships which are infamous for being restricted in house, but it surely was too small to even change garments in or to even bend down to select up a sock.   This was my solely grievance with my stateroom although, apart from the balcony view wanting straight into the Havana pool.


4. No library

I do know I’m within the minority right here once I noticed I like to go to the libraries on cruise ships, so I’ll maintain this temporary.  Extra cruise ships are being constructed with no library, and I do know cruise strains need to use that house for different money-generating issues.  However I at all times like to take a look at the books within the library, see what sort of video games can be found, and have a pleasant place for a fast recreation or puzzle.


5. Lacking that film night time popcorn

There’s one thing about watching a film on a cruise ship that makes it a lot extra attention-grabbing than watching it in your lounge.  And the free popcorn Carnival used to provide out throughout film nights on the large display was a giant a part of that.  I do know some Carnival ships are charging $3 for popcorn, however I didn’t see popcorn in any respect on Celebration, and I regarded for it about each night time.

Carnival Celebration in port at Mahogany Bay
Picture Credit score: Cruise Fever

Last Ideas

General, I liked crusing on Carnival Celebration and look ahead to one other crusing sooner or later.  The meals was unimaginable and plenteous, the Final Playground was a blast, and all the sport exhibits, occasions, and actions made every day thrilling and distinctive.  It is a class of cruise ship you completely ought to strive when you haven’t already.  It felt so totally different than every other Carnival ship I’ve been on and it’s an enormous step in the fitting course for the corporate for my part.

Have you ever taken a cruise on Carnival Celebration earlier than?  What did you assume?  Tell us within the feedback under.

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